STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY
Student Senate approved Drake Court Appointed Special Advocates as a new student organization Thursday. The group plans to merge the Iowa CASA Program’s goals with the goals of Drake University students.
The Iowa CASA Program recruits volunteers in the community to serve as a voice for abused and neglected children in the courtroom.
Their primary mission is to ensure the needs of the child are met and that the child is always in a safe, nurturing environment.
According to the Iowa CASA Program’s website, “studies have shown that children in foster care who have a CASA assigned to them receive more services than those without a CASA and are more likely to find a permanent home.”
Drake CASA’s mission is to spread awareness of this program through events and continue to train volunteers to help in the community.
Drake CASA President Natalie Deerr spoke of the openness the organization provides.
“We’re not just law students, and we’re not just (Kappa Alpha) Thetas,” Deerr said. “It’s definitely not the same experience when you’re a CASA all the way through the process.”
Sen. Kane commended the group for advocating its mission both in the community and on Drake’s campus.
“This is a good opportunity for Drake to get involved in Des Moines,” Kane said.
Student Senate elected a new ex-officio member, Noah Farrell, to be parliamentarian for Senate for the rest of the year.
The parliamentarian’s job is to maintain order within the senate.
Former Parliamentarian Bianchini resigned last week.
Vice President of Student Life Zachary Blevins said in a written statement that “(Bianchini’s) schedule was too much, and he wanted to dedicate more time to studying for the MCAT.”
Parliamentarian Farrell has been involved on committees for Student Senate in the past and ran for treasurer last spring.
President Kevin Maisto and Sen. Meyer met with the new Chief Information Technology Office, Chris Gill. Maisto said that Gill was impressed with the students on the search committee for this position, which led to a conversation about a permanent technology committee being formed.
“This group would be similar to the one just formed for the Sodexo dining services,” Maisto said.
The committee would allow administration to hear students’ technology concerns directly and act upon them in a timely manner.
If students are interested in joining this committee, email Sen. Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.